How to Greet an Interviewer

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Congratulations! You landed the job interview. Now it's time to impress the interviewer with your winning personality, your depth of knowledge and your enthusiasm. Before you do anything else, you need to make a good first impression. Wear the right outfit and bring your "A game" to the interview, and you just might land the job of your dreams.

Dress for the part. Wear a business suit or a skirt and a jacket with a nice pair of shoes. Skip the casual attire until you've got the job, even if the corporate climate is laid back or hip and modern.

Arrive 15 minutes early for the interview. Find something to do if you arrive 30 minutes or more before the interview. Show up too early for an interview and you'll look a little desperate.

Bring along a copy of your resume and hand it to the receptionist when you arrive. Be sure to give the receptionist your full name, the name of the person you're meeting with and the scheduled interview time.

Be patient in the waiting room. Speak with the other candidates but don't discuss salary, politics, religion or anything controversial. Be wary of discussing the position or any information you may have compiled through research.

Stand up when the interviewer emerges from his or her office and calls your name. Give him a firm handshake and be sure to make eye contact.

Greet the interviewer by name whenever possible. Greet the interviewer with the standard "Sir" or "Madam" if for some reason you're not given his or her name.

Be prepared to answer difficult questions about the job, the industry and your personal goals. Research possible questions with the help of reference books like "301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions" by Vicky Oliver (see Resources below).

Get the interviewer to give you a timeline for hiring, and be sure to let her know you'll be checking back at a later date. It's customary to call roughly a week after the interview.

Select fine stationary and send a quick note to the interviewer thanking her for her time.

Tip

Wait for the interviewer to sit down before you take your seat across from him.

Warning

If you don't know the interviewer's name, don't guess. It's better to sound overly formal than to sound flighty or inconsiderate. Don't use the interviewer's first name unless he or she insists.